Wescot-Williams about commonwealth: “Too early to talk about new structure”

POSTED: 12/13/13 5:08 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Dennis Richardson’s remarks about a commonwealth structure for St. Maarten and the Kingdom do not represent the official position of the government. That became apparent from answers by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams to question from this newspaper. “The remarks were made in the context of a debate with Minister Plasterk,” the prime minister pointed out. “But a commonwealth has not been discussed in the Council of Ministers.”

Wescot-Williams said that she prefers to focus on the evaluation of St. Maarten’s constitutional status in 2015, “before talking about a new structure.”

She noted that in the Dutch Second Chamber there is “more and more a lack of understanding for St. Maarten as a country.”

To illustrate her point, the prime minister referred to a motion the Dutch Parliament passed and wherein it calls for an investigation into human trafficking in the Caribbean countries. “That goes back to the procedure surrounding the integrity-investigation that we have warned about. I believe that the Second Chamber does not grasp the structure of the Kingdom. They seem to forget that four ministers of justice have signed a Memorandum of Understanding about combating human trafficking.”

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